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Campanelli with Asparagus, Basil, and Balsamic Glaze
1 lb campanelli
3/4 c balsamic vinegar
5 tbs extra virgin olive oil
1 lb asparagus, tough ends snapped off, spears halved length-wise if larger than than 1/2 inch in diameter and diagonally cut into 1 inch lengths
1 medium to large red onion, halved and sliced thin
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/4 tsp red pepper flake
1 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
1 tbs juice from one lemon
2 oz pecorino romano cheese, shaved with a vegetable peeler
How to make it:
* Boil pasta to al dente.
* Drain and return to the pot.
* Meanwhile bring balsamic vinegar to a boil in an 8 inch skillet over a med to high flame;reduce the heat to medium and simmer slowly until syrupy and reduced to a 1/4 cup, 15-20 minutes.
* While the vinegar is reducing, heat 2 tbs of the oil in a 12 inch nonstick skillet over high heat until it begins to smoke. Add the asparagus, onion. black pepper, red pepper flake and 1/2 tsp salt and stir to combine.
* Cook, without stirring, until the asparagus begins to brown, about 1 minute, then stir and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the asparagus is tender-crisp, about 4 minutes longer.
* Add the asparagus mixture, basil, lemon juice, 1/2 cup of the cheese, and remaining 3 tbs of oil to the pasta and stir to combine.
* Serve immediately, drizzling 1 to 2 teaspoons of the balsamic glaze over each serving and passing the cheese separately.